The “3rd Day”

Author’s Note: My recent article The 14th Sacrifice  looked at the gospel accounts pertaining to Yeshua’s Passover supper. That article concluded that Yeshua was not crucified on the 14th of Nisan but instead the most plain reading of  the New Testament record shows he was crucified on the feast day proper. (i.e. 15th Nisan, the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread) My next few articles will look at Yeshua’s Passover week chronology in light of some of the objections which are often raised by those who believe Yeshua was crucified on the 14th of Nisan.


Peter & John at the open Tomb

The 3rd Day

A whole book could be written about the symbolism of the “the 3rd day”. Did you know “the 3rd Day” is mentioned at least 14 times in context of Yeshua’s death and resurrection? Before we look at the “3rd day” as it relates to Yeshua’s Passover week I thought it would be interesting to note a few other notable “3rd days” found in the Bible:

*Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac on the “3rd day”. (Gen. 22)
*Joseph held his brethren in prison until the “3rd day”. (Gen. 42)
*YHWH verbally gave the law at Sinai on the “3rd day”. (Exo. 19)
*David hid himself in the field from Saul until the “3rd day”. (1 Sam. 20)
*David learned of Saul & Jonathan’s death on the “3rd day”. (2 Sam. 1)
*Hezekiah was healed and went up to the temple on the “3rd day”. (2 King 20)
*The 2nd temple was finished on the “3rd day” of Adar. (Ezra 6)
*Esther stood before the king of Persia on the “3rd day”. (Est. 5)
*Israel will be restored in the “3rd day” (Hosea 6)
*Yeshua attended a marriage in Cana on the “3rd day”. (John 2)

Each of the above references is full of symbolism and meaning. Several jump out to me in relation to the symbolism of Yeshua as well as the coming Messianic age. YA willing I’ll get a chance to explore them in future articles. For now though I would like to return to the chronology of Yeshua’s Passover week.

Did you know that the “3rd day” is the most frequently mentioned piece of chronological information related to Yeshua’s death and resurrection? Take a moment to read the 14 references below. If there is one part of Yeshua’s Passover week the New Testament is unequivocally clear about, it is that Yeshua rose from the grave on the “3rd day”.

 Matthew 16:21  1 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

 Matthew 17:23  23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

 Matthew 20:19  19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

 Matthew 27:64   64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

 Mark 9:31  31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

 Mark 10:34  34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

 Luke 9:22  22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

 Luke 13:32  32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

 Luke 18:32-33  32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:  33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.

 Luke 24:6-7   6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,  7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

 Luke 24:21  21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

 Luke 24:46  46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

 Acts 10:39-40  39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:  40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

 1 Corinthians 15:3-4   3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Luke 24 below adds further clarity to the Passover week chronology by linking the first day of the week with the “3rd day” from Yeshua’s betrayal, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. Here again if we take the Scripture at face value in its most natural and plain reading it shows that Yeshua rose from the grave on the “3rd day”, this “3rd day” being the first day of the week.

One additional idea worth mentioning here is the term “3rd day” may have added significance in the fact that this day also marked the 3rd day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Please see the chart below for more details.

Luke 24:1-21  Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.  2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.  3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.  …….  13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs……15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. …… 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:  20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.  21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

My next article will look at the Sign of Jonah, one of the most debated statements of Yeshua’s Passover week. I hope you stay tuned…


Authors Note: This chart shows the chronology described above. For those looking to search this out for yourself you will find Scriptural references provided for each event. I know this is a little different format than most are use to but it helped me organize the events in a way which allows me to take the New Testament events at face value in their most natural and plain reading.

Click on the Image to enlarge:


For more on Yeshua’s Passover Week chronology please see the following articles:

* The 14th Sacrifice
* “The Feast Day”: Judas’ Betrayal
* Defiled on the “Passover”
* The “Preparation” Day
* The “3rd Day”

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8 thoughts on “The “3rd Day”

  1. Eliyahuk

    Author’s note on The Third day. You claim: “”That article concluded that Yeshua was not crucified on the 14th of Nisan but instead the most plain reading of the New Testament record shows he was crucified on the feast day proper. (i.e. 15th Nisan, the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread)”

    This is NOT “the most plain reading” of the New Testament verses pertaining to the crucifixion of Yeshua. The most plain reading is that the day of preparation preceded the WEEKLY SABBATH, not the first day of the feast. This simplest rendering accords with the principle of Occam’s razor, and fits the biblical narrative perfectly as it also accords with the historical perspective that Yeshua died on the sixth day (not ‘Friday’, a pagan day) of the week. As it was the second week of the biblical month, this day was the 13th, not the 14th and is established by several witnesses from Scripture:

    Matthew 27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
    Mark 15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
    Luke 23:54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
    John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
    John 19:42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
    (all verses cited are KJV)

    In asserting that you have given the simplest rendering being that he died on the 15th, the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread, you have destroyed the simplest understanding that the day after he died, was the weekly Sabbath, and NOT the first day of Unleavened Bread.

    1. William Struse Post author

      Hi Eliyahuk,

      Thank you for your comments. You stated the following:

      “This is NOT “the most plain reading” of the New Testament verses pertaining to the crucifixion of Yeshua. The most plain reading is that the day of preparation preceded the WEEKLY SABBATH, not the first day of the feast.”

      I would encourage you to take a look at the chart I provided in the article. We are in agreement that Yeshua died on the “preparation day”, the day which proceeded the weekly Sabbath. The most reasonable rendering of all the evidence shows that the “preparation day” fell that year on “the feast day” (the 15th of Nisan).

      Warm Regards,
      William Struse

  2. char

    I read 1st book, and going thru the site. very interesting, thank you! great chart but feedback @ first glance re: reversing the black and yellow colors. You have the evenings in yellow, days in black. My eyes are drawn over and over to yellow as being for daytime, black for nighttime.

    Also, since keeping the Hebraic concept of a “day” starting at sundown “the day before” on our western calendar,is a bit to keep in mind all the time, and it is a bit challenging for some of us (me) when working out “Bible time” correctly it might make it easier to see the breakdown and compare the days with this little (to me) change. Please don’t take offense. :)

    Keep up the great work.

    1. William Struse Post author

      Hi Char,

      Good point on the chart. Never saw it that way before. Next time I update it I’ll have to change it. Thanks for the suggestion.
      No offence taken at all. I truly appreciate you taking the time to comment. Your feedback is always welcome!
      Warm regards,
      William Struse

  3. Jule

    Here is how I understand the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. According to the Old Testament calendar the evening started the day and it went from sundown to sundown. With our current calendar I know that the Sabbath goes from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. That said, you have to back up the days. The day of the fifth day of the week would be Thursday and the evening of the 5th day would actually be Wednesday night.

    Jesus was crucified on Thursday the 5th day. He was taken to the tomb at the beginning of the 6th day or sundown. This would actually be Thursday night in our calendar. This is how it would look

    Crucifixion: Thursday
    Tomb: Thursday night
    Friday night
    Saturday night
    Risen: Sunday morning (1st day of the week, third day)

    Thursday night and Friday would actually be the 6th day. Friday night and Saturday the 7th or sabbath day. Saturday night and Sunday would be the first day of the week. I hope this helps to explain how he rose on the 3rd day, which I believe to be correct.

    I have enjoyed reading the 13th enumeration and the first book in the other series and look forward to reading the others. It’s been a fascinating and interesting study.

    I however, for myself need to remember that no matter what, the most important part to all of this is faith and that through faith and revelation God can open our eyes to the deepest secrets he has hidden in plain view. Also to be led by the spirit and not lean on our own understanding is very important. That’s why I believe the way Jesus was in the tomb and risen is hidden from many, but has to be reconciled with our present day calendar in order for it to make sense. Looking forward to more interesting reading.

    Thank you and have a blessed day.

    1. William Struse Post author

      Good evening Jule,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I appreciate you explaining your understanding of the chronology. This is such a wonderful subject; such a privilege to work through and discuss. I’m thrilled you found the 13th enumeration interesting. Your statement regarding being led by the spirit and its importance to our faith is very well said.
      Warm regards,

  4. C.F.

    Shalom Shalom,

    There’s a major flaw in the chart. Pesach (Passover) never fell on a Thursday. Try counting back until the year Yeshua died (there are computer programs that do this and on line too) – use the Hebrew calendar and NOT the pagan Gregorian calendar. :)

    Shefa b’rachot,

    1. William Struse Post author

      Good morning C.F.,

      Thank you for commenting. I would be interested in understanding the basis for your claim.

      How do understand the chronology?
      What is your Biblical basis for defining Passover and the “even” of the 14 as it relates to the “even” of the 9th and the Day of Atonement?
      Do you believe Yeshua’s death and resurrection followed the chronology of the Exodus Passover?
      Do you take literally the Gospel statements that Yeshua told His disciples to prepare the Passover?

      As I am sure you are aware this is wonderfully rich and complex subject to discuss. I need more information to understand your claim that my chart is flawed.

      Warm regards,


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